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Soil Sample Testing

Soil samples are analyzed for specific soil nutrients to determine proper application rates of fertilizer and lime for optimum plant growth. Routine analysis includes soil pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe, and B. Soluble Salts and Organic Matter tests are also available. Completed soil test results, along with a recommendation on fertilization and liming, are mailed to the client.  Sampling and mailing instructions are found on the sample boxes and forms, which should be sent directly to the lab with the soil sample and payment.

Soil sample boxes and information sheets are available at these locations:

* VCE Middlesex Office

In state samples are $10.00

Home & Garden Soil Sample Form

Commercial Crop Production Soil Sample Form



Virginia's Home Garden Vegetable Planting Guide

VTechWorks (VCE) Publications Database   (search by topic to pull up publications)




Plant Disease Clinic 



How to pay for your sample fee-
  1.  Access the Middlesex-Virginia Cooperative Extension Destiny One Payment website with the following url:
  2.  If this is the first time you have paid for a sample in Destiny One, you will have to create an account. If you already have an account, skip to Step 3.
  3.  Follow the directions on the Destiny One payment page to complete your payment.
  4.  When you have completed your payment print a hard or digital copy of the payment receipt. A payment receipt must be included with a digital or physical submission. When submitting a sample, include a hardcopy of the payment receipt in the package to be mailed OR if the VCE office is mailing the sample or uploading a digital submission for you, provide the payment receipt to the VCE office.
Note: If you are unable or do not wish to pay by credit card via the Destiny One Payment website, you may pay by check or cash at the Middlesex VCE Office BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. The Plant Disease Clinic will not accept check or cash for payment.
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Middlesex County Office
125 Bowden Street
Saluda, VA 23149



Family and Consumer Sciences programs provide informal education that increases knowledge, influences attitudes, teaches skills, and inspires aspirations. Through the adoption and application of these practices, the quality of individual, family, and community life is improved. Family and Consumer Sciences brings specialist, agent, and volunteer expertise together to address the needs and priority issues facing Virginia's families.




2023 4-H Jr Summer Camp (Middlesex,Mathews,Newport News & Hampton)

was a success!!

See you next year
4-H Camp


4-H is the comprehensive youth development program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Youth between the ages of 5 and 18 engage in hands-on learning experiences under the guidance of adult or teen 4-H volunteers trained by 4-H agents. 4-H programs use experiential learning opportunities to teach the latest research-based subject matter knowledge and to foster skill development in effective citizenship, leadership, and other life skills. The 10 areas of 4-H curriculum focus are: Animal Sciences; Communications and Expressive Arts; Environmental Education and Natural Resources; Jobs, Careers and Economics; Plant and Soil Sciences; Citizenship; Family and Consumer Sciences; Health, Nutrition and Wellness; Leadership and Personal Development; and Science and Technology.

Youth also participate in educational experiences at six 4-H educational centers. 4-H has both a school-based and a community-based delivery model, so maximum access to Virginia's youth is provided. The specific learning experiences a 4-H member participates in are shaped locally and supported at the state and national levels. 4-H members learn how to: make decisions, manage resources, work with others, and utilize effective communication skills. 4-H serves as an effective prevention educational program. Involvement in 4-H reduces the potential for dysfunctional involvement in the community by youth. The mission of 4-H is to develop youth and adults working with those youth to realize their full potential--becoming effective, contributing citizens through participation in research-based, informal, hands-on educational experiences.


The Family Nutrition Program offers a range of programs to teach the basics of healthy eating, active living, food safety, and menu planning on a budget.

If you are interested in signing up for one of these programs or would like to work with the Family Nutrition Program to offer these programs in your organization, please contact Elizabeth Hayes at (804) 693-2602.

The Family Nutrition Program’s mission is to teach limited-resource families and youth how to make healthier food choices and become better managers of available food resources for optimal health and growth. Our programs focus on basic nutrition, physical activity, safe food handling, and thrifty food shopping.

The Family Nutrition Program is offered through Virginia Cooperative Extension, an educational outreach partnership between Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.

Our funding comes from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to offer the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to offer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) in Virginia.


2023 Well Water Clinic

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2023 Well Water Testing Clinic for Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex County. 

Please join us for an interpretation meeting if you have questions about your results:

  August 28 @ 12:00 PM at T.C Walker Educational Center (Gloucester)

  August 28 @ 6:00 PM at  Cooks Corner Office Complex (Saluda)

  August 29 @ 10:00 AM at Mathews Extension Office

  August 29 @ 6:00 PM at T.C Walker Educational Center (Gloucester)



Three Things to Know about Well Water

1. We’ve heard a lot about lead and other metals in drinking water recently, but what you may not know is that it is incredible rare for these metals to be naturally found in groundwater. Instead, water that is either too low in pH, and/or has other corrosive elements, is leaching the metal from plumbing components. The water doesn’t have to be all that corrosive or acidic to leach metals either, it’s generally recommended that drinking water have pH above 6.5 to prevent corrosion, which means regular rain water is more than acidic enough to leach metals from your pipes!

2. There are quite a few different sources of potential contaminants to drinking water; surface contaminants could be getting into your drinking water, especially if the well head or grouting is not well maintained, metals could be leached from your plumbing, sodium may be added from your softener, and many contaminants come naturally from the groundwater if they aren’t addressed with treatment devices.

3. How often should you test your drinking water? Generally, it’s recommended to test for bacteria annually, and do more comprehensive tests every three years or so, including testing for pH, total dissolved solids and other local concerns. Testing is particularly important since some of the contaminants most detrimental to your health (E. coli, nitrates, lead, among others), may be at high enough levels to cause serious health issues without you ever noticing a different smell, taste, or appearance.

Engaging with Communities

Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists in community viability work with Extension agents, campus-based faculty, organizational partners, communities, and individuals to further opportunity and build capacity in five program areas:   

Examples of our work include training county elected officials, educating entrepreneurs, facilitating collaborative projects, supporting the growth of community food systems and local economies, enhancing agent skills and community capacity in facilitation and leadership, conducting problem-driven research, and creating publications and tools that address critical community needs.

Do you have a question about Community Viability?

Perhaps one of the Community Viability specialists below can help you. Contact a Community Viability specialist or direct a question to them using our Ask an Expertsystem. 

Community Viability Specialists